What is team work? Team work is a collective effort of each unit or member of a body aimed at achieving a common goal. A common goal suggests every member is aware of such goal and one thing is prime in their minds- getting the goal(s) by every means possible.

Going by the common sayings that two heads are better than one; and the fact that a tree cannot make a forest, it is acceptable to note that working in a team is of great advantage to every team member.

Such great advantage to each member is the ability to understand the ‘why’ of being in the team and how personal development can be enhanced. It also makes for responsibility of members in the discharge of roles, which could be linked somehow to those of other participants in the team.

It is important for each member to know how assigned role overlaps or interacts with close team members’ and work out a functional communication line or action plan in achieving them. Meanwhile, in any team work an earlier work plan must have been clearly provided with the working process and parties involved, which everyone must have been briefed on and well understood.  

Working in a team is far more than any personal or selfish aims and the main objective of the team is superior. Hence, every personal motives must align with or subsume under the team’s overall objectives.

Going forward from here, the success of any team is based on how each member understands the basic reasons of their gathering as a team. And this trickles down to the detailed information made available at the outset, as well as being able to fit into any reconstitution or reorganization, as they continue to co-exist as a unit.

It is also of essence that each member plays the assigned role(s) well, as if the whole piece (team) would fall apart in case he or she defaults. Commitment is key in this regard. When commitment is at work, every interest of the team becomes a great concern of every member, and nothing is left to chance- even if one has to perform a supporting role to another.

Overseeing other members could also be one’s responsibility as a gifted member of the team. Overseeing does not mean nose poking but ensuring that one’s colleagues are doing their bit for the common good. Reminding a colleague of his or her responsibility and also helping out when the need arises would go a long way to bring about a coherent team. Not all members in a team are gifted equally hence, it is paramount that ideas are shared; collaborations are encouraged; and mutual backing up becomes a practice.

Team work becomes effective through means of allocation of task(s) (division of labour, as we have it in economics), where every member’s contribution at every stage brings the corporate working of the team to reality. In a football team for an instance, we have the forward (attackers), mid-fielders, and the defenders. The build-up of the team starts from the back, where each player (goal keeper, left back, central defenders, or right back) can see the entire field of play from their positions. The mid-fielders take up their role by launching required passes to the attackers, whose responsibility it is to make the goals needed for victory. Needful to say that a formation of play is central to the team’s performance. Whatever every player does is in consonant with such formation.   

Whatever becomes of the team, one thing is indispensable: whether success or failure, every member has an inalienable share in it.

Shofuwa, Paul